Cherish the Time You Have | Teen Ink

Cherish the Time You Have

December 11, 2007
By Anonymous

Certain events that occur in someone’s life can affect the entire personality of a person. The impact that is left upon a person transforms and recreates his view on life. From his old view, a new view and perspective of the world is spawned. I am a living example of a boy whose life completely changed in one long night.

Winter break is thought as a fun and joyful time to reenergize after a long and grueling six weeks of school. This past year, I look upon that short break as cold, bitter, and merciless. During the late hours of a blustery February night, I awoke with a start. I believed I had heard or dreamed of an earth-shattering scream. I could barely distinguish the words, but the voice seemed to have screamed, “Alan!” However, I convinced myself that neither I nor anybody else in my dark and gloomy house was in any sort of danger. As I began to drift back to sleep, a loud and screeching sound was echoing down my street. As I opened my weary eyes, I could see the bright blazing red lights shining through my window. Then to my horror, the ambulance began turning into my driveway.

I immediately leapt out of the comfort of my soft and protecting bed. My younger cousins were sleeping in the next room, so I checked on them to assure myself that they were in no danger. A low groan moved through the house and traveled up the stairs. As I stood in the doorway, I knew who was groaning. I approached the stairs with fear and anxiety that reached from my head down to my toes. The fear was running through my veins as if it was a substitute for blood. I could hear unfamiliar voices. They were conversing in worried tones from our living room. Each step I took, the fear multiplied a thousand times. I walked into the room. I saw a man hunching over crying in pain while clutching his chest. I knew that man. It was the man who had given me life, the man who I try to imitate, and the man who loves me unconditionally. The man for whom, at the time, I had very little patience with. My father sat on the couch moaning in pain that sounded like a thousand souls being tortured in Hell as the devil mockingly laughed at their discomfort. I could not bear to see this man who had withstood so many obstacles during his life moaning, crying, and pleading as if he were dying. He was rushed to the emergency room, and I was left alone to care for my cousins. I was left with the task of cleaning the mess my father had left behind.

My father had fallen down our back staircase as he was sleepwalking. He had pulled the wrong door open believing that it was the bathroom door. It brings me pain to imagine how his body freely bumped and hit each stair on the staircase. He landed in our laundry room and left a ruby red puddle of blood shining in the light of the room. At 3:00 in the morning, I sat in the room cleaning up my father’s blood. I will never forget the pain and suffering I felt of washing away the blood of a loved one. The emotions I felt were indescribable. The next morning, my father returned home with a broken collarbone, a fractured elbow, disjointed fingers, and bruised ribs. I watched him drinking food through a straw because his jaw had swollen from his hard landing. As he drank, his face would contort with pain. He needed assistance in getting out of his chair, and every time he attempted to raise himself, a low, but loud yell pierced the silence within the house. I could not bear to watch or to listen to his pain because each time he expressed his suffering, tears were brought to my own eyes.

My father’s injury has brought a new outlook on life to me. Because of this horrific event, I have forever lost the illusion that my close friends and I are invincible. The illusion is like a very weak, thin piece of glass, and when a stone is thrown at it, the glass shatters into many different pieces. That late February night will forever remain clear in my mind. It makes me realize how important family is to me. I respect my father and admire him because of all the challenges he has faced and overcome. I have learned to cherish the time I have with the people around me because they could be gone from this earthly world in a matter of seconds.

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